Western Digital just surprised the storage industry by announcing its upcoming Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) technology, which could keep the price per gigabyte of spinning drives lower than SSDs for at least the next decade. We have a proven track record for identifying, investing in and delivering advanced technologies that create new product categories and enable the world to realize the possibilities of data. Last year, Micron Technology Inc. Since then, we have shipped more than 20 million helium drives.
If MAMR works out, it would most likely replace Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) and the next generation standard. Only MAMR demonstrates the reliability and cost profile that meets the demands of data center operators.
If you're wondering what microwaves have to do with hard drives, WD has a developed a new type of drive head called a "spin torque oscillator" that generates a microwave field.
About two years ago, Western Digital competitor Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) crammed more than 1 terabit (1 trillion bits) of data in a square inch of its highest capacity disk drives. The company performed the reveal at its "Innovating to Fuel the Next Decade of Big Data" event at its headquarters in Silicon Valley yesterday.
The company says its Damascene head-making process is the second key component in bringing MAMR technology to a manufacturable state.
The company explained the news with an announcement from President and COO of Western Digital, Mike Cordano, saying: "Our ground-breaking advancement in MAMR technology will enable Western Digital to address the future of high capacity storage by redefining the density potential of HDDs and introduce a new class of highly reliable, "ultra-high capacity" drives". The higher heat required for HAMR impacts reliability of the media, head and interface materials. The Damascene process involves precise depositing and etching layers of magnetic and non-magnetic materials to arrive at a finished head.
According to WD, current heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technologies are reaching their limits in terms of performance and capacity, but MAMR promises to be able to improve both capacity and performance.
For further information on Western Digital MAMR technology, go to http://innovation.wdc.com.
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